Well, I was until today. But as of, well, this morning, I am technically a vegetarian. And I have to admit just writing those words makes me feel all kinds of strange.
Before we proceed, let me get one thing clear: this culinary change of heart has got nothing to do with ideology, animal welfare this or environmental that. I remain an unapologetic carnivore, and it’s fair to say some of the finest foodie moments of my life have involved the flesh of one beast or another.
No, this is more experiment than protest. It’s not that I’ve decided to forgo meat for good, just that I’m curious to see how on earth vegetarians manage to keep it up on a full-time basis.
I love vegetables of almost every kind, and they play a big part in my day-to-day eating. I’m certainly not one of those people who really can’t see beyond meat, like my dear brother who could no more eat a dish lacking some remnant of a deceased creature than he could flap his arms and fly.
But veg has always been a counterpoint to the meat, the supporting cast to the leading man. The point of this little experiment is to see whether the humble fruits of the soil can rise up and take centre stage without me breaking down within days and destroying a bucket of fried chicken.
We’ve been gearing up to this for a few weeks now, me and the missus, and pretty much cleared out the fridge in anticipation of V-Day. So on rising this morning we wandered into town for a late breakfast/early lunch (I can’t bring myself to write b****h, for some reason unknown to me I despise that word).
Then it hit us. What would we eat? Full English was off the menu, a bacon sandwich now strictly off-limits. Thankfully upon arriving at our favourite spot for a lazy bite to eat, Googies in Rendezvous Street, we found there was a delicious-sounding goat’s cheese, caramelised onion and spinach pizza on the menu. It was fresh, flavourful and just what a pair of veggie virgins needed to kick off their new regime.
(By the way, if you’re from the Folkestone area and have never tried Googies: go, go now. OK, the service isn’t always great, but the food is fantastic and the people are lovely. I can’t recommend it highly enough.)
So, it will be interesting to see how we get on with this whole vegetarian thing. Tonight’s dinner, pictured above, is piadina with red pepper pesto, rocket, red onions and mozzarella, which sounds good to me. If everything we eat in the coming weeks is that promising, this shouldn’t be too tough, right?
- I’d be interested to hear from any proper vegetarians who have got any special recipes they think will help keep us on the straight and narrow. Check out the contact page for my email address.